Fleet technology has virtually exploded in the last decade and the trend shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. This technological revolution has been great for fleets looking to streamline their operations, improve fleet safety, and make more informed business decisions. All of these and more are possible once the new technology is up and running, but first, you must get through the implementation process.
Fleets interested in bringing in telematics, communication tools, dash cameras or any other technology suite must do their diligence during implementation to ensure that all team members are up to speed and can properly navigate the system efficiently.
The following dos and don’ts are a great starting point. Part of a solid implementation game plan involves working with a trusted team that can help you troubleshoot when questions arise and help you get up to speed as quickly as possible.
If your fleet is just getting started with technology the process can seem overwhelming. Start by setting some good habits and it will help smooth out the process and make adoption that much easier. Here are some best practices to get you started.
Master the System
This might seem like a straightforward starting point but far too many fleets purchase technology only to use a small portion of the platform. Today’s telematics systems are incredibly advanced and have the ability to impact your fleet on multiple fronts. The more that you can master the system the greater ROI you can generate.
Begin by designating the team members that will be your “superusers.” These individuals will be the most proficient and will likely be in the platform day in and day out. Many times this is a safety director or operations manager. Superusers are great because they can serve as an in-house expert on the platform that can help train other employees, troubleshoot, and help decipher data.
If you haven’t realized it yet, we are living in a data-driven world and fleet technology is riding that wave. Fleets have never had access to the amount of data that modern telematics provide. Those that are not familiar with weeding through the raw data can feel a bit overwhelmed.
To help cut through the noise, establish KPIs from the very beginning. Chances are, you know the areas that you want to focus on, so be sure to share that information with your provider. This can help them come up with a well-rounded training plan and will allow your team to get the most out of the system from day one.
Integrate When Possible
Whether you are just getting started with technology, or your fleet has a long history of leading the charge when new tech hits the market, integration is critical. Once the tech bug hits your fleet chances are you will invest in other pieces of technology. Making sure that those individual systems can be integrated will save you time and we all know that time is money.
Really this “do” should be ironed out during the buying process, as it is one of the first questions that you should ask when approaching a new provider. If the answer is no, your best bet is to find a different vendor. Platforms like Geotab provide an internal marketplace to connect other fleet systems and consolidate everything to a single dashboard.
You just pulled the trigger on a new piece of technology, and you are ready to get into the thick of it. Before diving in feet first, make sure that you are aware of some of the more common pitfalls that fleets face, especially if they have limited exposure to fleet technology.
Put Pressure On Team Members During Adoption/Implementation
There is no way around it, change is hard. Inevitably, there is always one or two team members that will either resist adopting new technology or simply struggle to get up to speed. Pressure is not the answer.
This is where your superusers that were mentioned earlier can play a pivotal role. If you solely rely on the vendor for training and expertise, it can slow down the entire process. Schedule one on one sessions with those individuals to help with the adoption process.
Work Out of Multiple Platforms
Sometimes this pitfall cannot be avoided, and that is OK. When possible, avoid working out of multiple systems at all costs. Not only can this delay the implementation process, but it simply creates more work for your team members.
Smaller fleets that do not have extra personnel can easily be stretched thin, even during the smoothest of transitions. Consolidating all of your fleet technology into a single dashboard can help speed up the adoption process.
The top telematics platforms provide easy-to-read dashboards that decipher the raw data that assets are producing on a daily basis. Certain areas of improvement might be clear, and the data is readily available. Sadly, many fleets will have that information at their fingertips yet simply choose to let it sit idly in the background.
Data points can be used in a variety of ways to help improve fleet performance, operational costs, and more. This information can also be a valuable retention tool when shared with drivers. After all, if you can help impact their bottom line in a positive way they are more likely to stay with your fleet.
Streamline the Implementation Process
Whether your fleet is new to the technology game or is simply looking for a new provider, having a team in your corner that will back you up through the entire process is critical. The Argos Connected team has been working with fleets across the country and knows the pain points that can come up through adoption. Because we work with fleets of all shapes and sizes we can help provide insights from our experience to help smooth out yours. Learn more about our partners and suite of services at ArgosConnected.com